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COLA Press Conference (Belize City)

COLA Press Conference (Belize City)

COLA Press Conference
(Belize City)

Thursday, June 12, 2014. AARON HUMES Reporting: Prime Minister Dean Barrow yesterday tried his best to downplay the significance and importance of Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) receiving a leaked copy of the Preliminary Report of the Auditor General into the Immigration and Nationality Department.

But irrepressibly, COLA stepped forward and proceeded to give out a limited, but concentrated dose of the Report’s allegations against Elvin Penner.

Giovanni Brackett (President, COLA)

Giovanni Brackett
(President, COLA)

First, however, COLA President Giovanni Brackett said they could not simply hand over the report to the press because it will be used as evidence to be disclosed to Penner and it serves as a lead to pursue additional information that they need.

According to Brackett, COLA is not seeking public glory, but Penner’s downfall.

And while the report is preliminary, it makes clear that there was something rotten going on at the Immigration Department, which allowed five individuals in the first instance to easily obtain passports, nationality certificates and access to other services.

For Kareem Musa, the stench starts right at the top, with Penner’s former Government colleagues, particularly Minister of Immigration Senator Godwin Hulse, who is said to still have some of the key files needed for the Auditor General’s investigation.

 

Musa stated that the Government cannot claim it is not covering things up when its functionaries stonewall the prosecution at every turn and when key files remain missing or in the hands of Penner.

The report alludes to even high-ranking officials intimidated into bowing to Penner’s dictates and in all is a valuable piece of the puzzle. But it is not all, as Musa said that for the prosecution to truly be successful, it would need the actual files and statements by those involved.

 

The case returns two weeks hence on June 26.

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